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New York Tenant-Landlord Law

by Caroline Merkin

New-York-Landlord-Tenant-Law-Fast-Facts

Security Deposits

  • In New York, security deposits are not required by law but are highly recommended as they prove a tenant’s financial stability and guarantee a payment for damaged property
  • There is no statute for the maximum amount a landlord can charge, but most the amount of the monthly rent (Tenant’s Rights Guide)
  • Landlords are not allowed to commingle deposit funds their personal assets. (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(1))
    • If the rental property contains 6 or more related individuals, the deposit is required to be kept in a New York interest bearing bank account (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2-a))
    • In New York, a landlord must provide tenants with the name and address of the bank in which the deposit amount is placed (N.Y. GOL §§ 7-103(2))
  • There is no official deadline for returning security deposits, as long as it is done within a “reasonable” amount of time (Tenant’s Rights Guide)
    • Additionally, there is no statute regarding a written description / itemized list of damages and charges to a tenant if the security deposit is being withheld.

Rent and Late fees

  • There are no statutes in New York stating when rent must be paid (whether at the beginning or end of the month) nor regarding a time period in which a landlord must notify a tenant about a rent increase.
  • There are no statutes regarding late fees or grace periods.
  • Electronic billing should not be mandated as the only method of rent payment (N.Y. RPL §§ 235-g).
  • A tenant is allowed to withhold rent for a failure to provide essential services (water, heat, etc.) (N.Y. RPL §§ 235-a)

Notices and Entry

  • There is no statute regarding a required notice before entry, but at least 24 hours is recommended
  • A landlord is not required to give notice prior to terminating a tenancy with a fixed end date, outside of New York City (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-b)
    • If the lease is month-to-month, the landlord has to notify the tenant one month prior to terminating outside of New York City (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-b), and 30 days notice if in New York City (N.Y. RPL §§ 232-a)
  • There is no statute regarding a required notice before entry for non-emergency repairs, but at least 24 hours is recommended
    • There are no statutes regarding emergency entry either.

Disclosures

  • The landlord must provide a tenant a written statement that they are allowed to prematurely end a lease in circumstances involving sexual assault, sexual abuse, or domestic violence.
  • Landlords in New York must also send an annual lead notice between January 1st-15th to all tenants in pre-1960 multiple dwellings or dwellings constructed between 1960-1978 where lead-based paint is known to exist along with an information pamphlet.
  • The landlord must disclose certain mechanical services and utilities sources and quality prior to accepting a purchase offer.
  • If any structural damage is present (such as water, smoke, fire, or insect damage) the landlord must notify the tenant.

Eviction Laws

Eviction Step #1: Inform your tenant with an official notice

An official notice is posted to the tenant. Typically, although this varies based State and county, the landlord hands the notice to the tenant in person, or posts the notice to the door if the tenant is not home. You also may need to send a copy via certified mail.

Eviction Step #2: Wait for the tenant to respond

  • If there is a violation of the lease or a rental payment isn’t made, the landlord must issue a notice that allows the tenant to remedy or quit within 10 days.
    • If the tenant does not fix the violation, the landlord may terminate the lease and require the tenant to move out within 30 days
  • If the landlord wishes to terminate the lease early, they have to give a notice period of 30 days.
  • If the tenant wishes to terminate the lease early, they have to give a notice period of 30 days.

Eviction Step #3: File With Court

If the tenant has not paid you within the time period outlined in Step #2, then file with the local courts for the official eviction. Both you and the tenant will receive a specific date for the hearing.

Eviction Step #4: Attend the court date

You or your lawyer will want to attend the court hearing and bring proper documentation of the lease violation with you. You should prepare to bring the following, at a minimum:

  1. Your lease agreement
  2. Evidence of payment failures / history
  3. Proof that you served the tenant (Step #1)
  4. Any communications or other helpful records

Eviction Step #5: Sheriff to remove the tenant

If the tenant does not leave on their own, then you have a right, within a certain amount of time, to request for a sheriff to remove the tenant.

Eviction Step #6: Collecting damages

Most likely, the tenant owes you money for the lease violation. Here are some ways to collect money from the damages:

  1. Garnish wages
  2. File in small claims court
  3. Use a private debt collector

For more information on New York Landlord Tenant laws please visit their website here.